Thursday, April 2, 2009

Saving Money on Car Insurance

The gecko is cute and funny at times, but he really doesn't know anything about saving money on car insurance. Our family used Geico for many years to insure our vehicles. At the time we purchased our policy, it was definitely the cheapest choice for us.

I thought it was strange, however, that they required us to insure all licensed drivers over the age of 16 living in our home on all vehicles owned by those drivers. So, although no one else drove our son's commuter car, we all still had to be insured on his car. The reasoning is that at some time someone might be tempted to drive that car, so everyone has to be insured on it. (?) Also, you could not drop the insurance on any car unless it was taken to a junk yard or was sold. So, although our van was broken down in the driveway and we couldn't afford to fix it for several months, it still had to be insured. (!) We also had to prove by official documents that our two sons were no longer living with us before they would remove them from the policy. (!?) But, these little quirks were nothing to what happened last year.

When someone in the family left a smudge on a parked vehicle and was charged for not leaving insurance information, our Geico payments nearly doubled. I called to see how long we would all have to pay for this misdemeanor, which had already cost us over $2,000 in fines, I was informed it would be the whole three years this driver had the incidence on their record.

Time to do some shopping around.

To my great delight, I discovered our AAA (American Automobile Association) membership included car insurance which, even with the ticket, was the same amount our regular Geico policy had been before the incidence. Just think how much cheaper it will be once the ticket is removed from this family member's record!

So, my advice to you is to definitely shop around. Don't assume the insurance which was so cheap ten years ago is still the best deal for your family's needs.

Here are a few things you may do to reduce the cost of your car insurance:
  • Obey all traffic laws and, by all means, leave your insurance information if you at all come in contact with the car next to you in a parking lot!
  • Get a car with air bags
  • Use your seat belt
  • Insure both your home and car
  • Insure more than one vehicle on the same policy
  • Check for rates which will be reduced when drivers reach a certain age
  • See if your company will give you a discount if your high school drivers get good grades
  • Check for military discounts
  • Don't forget to check with your other group memberships, such as AAA, to see if they offer special group car insurance
  • Call your insurance company and ask them if there are any other discounts available
This is one area of your family finances which can really make a big difference in your monthly finances. Please take a few minutes this week to do some homework regarding your car insurance. You will be so glad you did.